skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 148678 Find in a Library
Title: Courts, The Judiciary and New Directions: The Limits of Legislative Change (From National Conference on Juvenile Justice, P 43-52, 1993, Lynn Atkinson and Sally-Anne Gerull, eds. -- See NCJ-148673)
Author(s): K Warner
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper reviews changes in juvenile justice legislation in Australia over the last 15 years.
Abstract: Australia has experienced significant legislative change in the managing of juvenile offenders. Four States have rewritten their legislation dealing with young offenders and child welfare; the two territories have new legislation; in Queensland a juvenile justice bill is before parliament, and Tasmania is reviewing its juvenile code. The legislation generally involves a shift from rehabilitation and welfare to an emphasis on punishment proportionate to offense severity. Simultaneously, legislators have recognized the need for a separate system for young offenders that carries special measures to divert juveniles from formal criminal justice processing and that reduces their institutionalization. In many Australian jurisdictions there are now systems that distinguish between young offenders and children in need of care, as they avoid stigmatizing the latter, and acknowledge that punishment is more than purely benevolent in the case of the former types of offenders. Diversion strategies that give legislative recognition and encouragement to police cautioning and discourage the use of arrest are positive developments. Legislative provisions that encourage the participation of juvenile defendants at the adjudicatory stage and aim to improve the comprehensibility of procedures are welcome. The principle of proportionality in sentencing is a useful limiting principle, since it prevents excessive rehabilitation efforts as well as excessive punishments. In most jurisdictions there have been many improvements in the legal framework of juvenile justice, but in all cases important matters are partially or completely unregulated. The structuring of decisionmaking is still insufficient. 26 references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Courts; Criminology; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile codes; Juvenile justice reform; Police
Note: From proceedings of the National Conference on Juvenile Justice, held in Adelaide, Australia, September 22-24, 1992.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.